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Short Stories

      The Four Sights

To prevent Siddhattha, King Suddhodana took every measures from any sight, which could enable him to become an ascetic ever since he was born.

When prince Siddhattha was of twenty-nine years of age , the devas felt that it was the proper time for him to achieve his illumination. So, they encouraged his heart to visit the park. On the way, he met with an old man, who was walking with the help of a stick. Shocked with the severe reality - that everybody becomes old and no human can escape it - he returned home in a very serious mood.

When the king learnt about his mental shock that was due to that old man's condition, he made every object of routine pleasure available to his son. However, on the other hand, the prince was not interested in the experienced worldly pleasure. Next day, he again went to the park. There he saw an ill person; and felt that disease too, is one of the reality of life, through which no one can escape. On the third day, he saw a dead body; and realized that death is another new reality, which no one can escape. Thus, he realized the worthlessness of the routine life, which is sure to fall down; because if one is born one would surely one or the other day could undergo the process of ageing, sickness, death and all kinds of suffering. Even the powerful person of all rulers are not capable of defeat those realities of life.

Next, it was the full-moon day of Asalha. On that day, he saw an ascetic. Unusually and suddenly, he asked his charioteer Channa about the identity of the person. Channa then informed him that the person was an ascetic, who had refused to live the worldly life in search of never-ending pleasure. He also praised the ideals of an ascetic. The ascetic’s decision to refuse the worldly life in search of the truth introduced greater happiness in his heart and inspired him to live the life of an ascetic.

Upon his return to the city, he received the news of the birth of his son Rahula. When far along to the palace to see his newly born baby, he heard the royal lady Kisagotami singing out of joy at his graceful appearance. The song - “Nibbutta nuna sa Mata” is very popular and is well-known as Nibbuta Pada in the tradition. The word Nibbuta, which referred to the delivery of the mother in the above statement was infer by Siddhattha as ‘Deliverence’ from the webs of worldly life. Delighted at the song Gotama took off his pearl necklace and sent it to the lady as a coupon of thanks for singing such a song for him.